A Scary Holiday Story

And a New Version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

A Scary Holiday Story

We had an adventure during  Thanksgiving, and not just because my family visited Jean and me for the holiday for the first time ever. That's right, the whole Edelman family was at my house, 11  people, for four days, including my mom.

No, the adventure I’m referring to began Thanksgiving morning. That’s when the doorbell rang.

At 2:47 a.m.

2:47 and 44 seconds, to be exact.

I know because our alarm system recorded the time. Jean picked up the phone (we're able to answer the front door on our telephone through our security system, which caught all this on tape). A woman's voice said: "I'm really sorry to bother you, but do you know where the Watsons live?"

The Watsons (not their real name) are our neighbors. Jean, in her sleepy state, gave directions and hung up the phone.

I heard only her end of this puzzling conversation. "What in the world was that?" I asked.

After we both woke up a little more we asked ourselves some questions. Why would someone visiting the Watsons not have their phone number or their address? Why would she not Google them?

We looked at the security video and discovered that the woman had walked up our driveway to ring the doorbell. No car?

By this time, we're wide-awake. Should we call the Watsons and warn them? Should we call the police in case this woman is not all that she seems? Might she be a distraction while cohorts break in through the back door?

Now, you can disagree with my decision (tell me later), but we decided not to call anyone. Jean did force me to walk around the house checking the windows and doors. Which I did, in my robe, trying not to wake anyone up, and, a harder trick, trying not to wake the dogs.

Ultimately, we both got back in bed. But with adrenaline up, it was 5 a.m. before we got back to sleep. And Jean was up at 6:00 to start the day for the clan. By 9 a.m., curiosity got the better of us and we decided to call the Watsons.

"Did that woman get to your house last night okay?" I asked John Watson

He had no idea what we were talking about. They weren't expecting a visitor. No one showed up at the house.

So Jean and I decided to send an email to all our neighbors, to see if anyone encountered this mystery woman. Just as I was about to hit the send button, Sally Watson called.

"It was our niece!" she said. "She slept in the garage!"

Apparently,  the Watsons' niece had been at a bar in the neighborhood, drinking with the Watsons' sons. The boys went home. She stayed and later decided not to drive while  intoxicated (good for her). But when she called her cousins to ask for a ride back to their house – only a mile and a half away -- they said, "No, walk to our  house." In the dark. In the cold. Through a snowy wooded patch. While drunk.

Along the way, her smartphone died and she realized she got lost, which is when she stopped at our house. And you now know the rest.

So, mystery solved! Needless to say, the Watsons were mortified, especially about their sons' behavior and the way they abandoned their female cousin.

And we got a really nice bottle of wine out of it, so all’s well!

After my broadcast describing the story (it starts at 11:31 of this episode), a listener named Richard put my story to prose. Here’s the poem he sent me:

Twas the morning before Thanksgiving
And all through the house
The family was all tucked in
 sleeping snug as a mouse.

Thoughts of turkey and stuffing and cranberry and such
flowed through their dreams, all hoping of much.

A woman now lost, phone battery had died,
was looking for family in the house they reside.

At seven and forty
past the hour of two
the doorbell rang out
 stirring the Edelman duo.

Mrs. E spoke wisely with hardly a clatter
but Mr. E did exclaim: "What the heck is the matter!"
"A woman is lost and wants friends down the street
Now roll over, be quiet and go back to sleep."

The woman now informed continued her quest
And the Edelman household settled in back to rest.

But the strangeness of time and the woman's request
stirred in Ric's mind, so he started his own quest.

He checked all the windows and also the doors.
His suspicion continued as he checked the first floor.

Great stealth was needed as he continued to creep
Since animals and people all needed to sleep.

Secure with the thought that none were distressed
He returned to the bed for more much-needed rest.

As dawn hours passed some suspicion still nagged
So composing an email to the neighbors he tagged.

Before pressing send came a ring on the phone
The woman's success found her all safe and at home.

No thanks to her boys to assist her trek there,
but it ended in joy with little fanfare.

But Ric did say before ending the call
I'm glad she got home and Happy Thanksgiving to all!